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Hugo (2011) Poster

(2011)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (2)  | Director Cameo (1)  | Spoilers (2)
Martin Scorsese and Sir Christopher Lee were very good friends, but up until 2010, had never worked together. Lee's response when he was asked by Scorsese to appear in Hugo was: "It's about time!"
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When Sir Ben Kingsley (as Georges Méliès) is seen directing one of his movies, the camera operator on-screen left was played by his son Edmund Kingsley.
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After a screening that James Cameron attended, he called this movie a "masterpiece", and told Director Martin Scorsese it was the best use of 3-D he had seen, including his own movies.
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The opening track shot of the city, ending at the train station, was the first shot designed. Each frame required one thousand computers to render, and completion took one year.
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The guitarist, who appeared early in the movie, and at the Georges Méliès party near the end, was modelled after famed Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt. The filmmakers even went so far as to have the actor's left hand match Django's. He doesn't use his fourth and fifth fingers (which were burned in a fire).
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In flashbacks we see Georges Méliès staging his productions with lavishly colored sets and costumes. The real Méliès only used sets, costumes and make-up in grayscale, since colored elements might turn out the wrong shade of gray on black and white film. Many of the prints were then hand tinted in post-production.
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The cam mechanism in the automaton is heavily inspired by the machinery in the Jaquet-Droz automata, built between 1768 and 1774. Indeed these automata are still in working condition (they can be seen at the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire of Neuchâtel, in Switzerland) and are capable of drawing figures as complicated as the drawing depicted in this movie. Many nuances, such as the head following the pen as it was drawing and dipping the pen in ink were also present in the automata in real-life.
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With Sir Christopher Lee having been born in 1922, makes him the only supporting actor to have lived in the age this movie is set: 1931.
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Sir Ben Kingsley based his characterization of Georges Méliès on Martin Scorsese.
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The music during the scene in which Hugo and Isabelle read the book The Invention of Dreams, about the history of filmmaking, is Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns. He is considered to be the first composer to write an official movie soundtrack for The Assassination of the Duke de Guise (1908), making this musical reference quite apt.
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Martin Scorsese's first theatrical movie in twelve years not starring Leonardo DiCaprio. His last theatrical movie without DiCaprio was Bringing Out the Dead (1999).
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Martin Scorsese directed the 3-D cinematography by wearing clip-on 3-D lenses over his prescription glasses. This is his first foray into 3-D.
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Martin Scorsese's first PG rated movie in eighteen years. His first was The Age of Innocence (1993).
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The driving force behind the movie was Martin Scorsese's young daughter Francesca Scorsese, who presented him a copy of the Brian Selznick book as a birthday gift, hoping that he would make a movie out of it someday. It was also her suggestion to have the movie presented in 3-D. Rather than having the 3-D accomplished by post-conversion, Scorsese decided to have it shot in native format, so together with Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Legato and Cinematographer Robert Richardson, they spent (before filming) about two weeks at the Cameron/Pace group doing a crash course on filming in that format.
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Robert Richardson's win on the Oscar's cinematographic category for this movie, means that he, Emmanuel Lubezki, and Vittorio Storaro are the only present living cinematographers to win the award three times.
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During the early scene which introduces the interior of the train station, there are appearances by characters representing Django Reinhardt, James Joyce, and Sir Winston Churchill.
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In the last shot of this movie, of the automaton, the costume designers made a little tuxedo for the automaton to wear, because the last scene is a party, and the costume designers felt that the automaton should be dressed up just like everyone else. Martin Scorsese decided against this because he wanted the audience to see all of the gears of the automaton at the end.
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When Martin Scorsese decided to adapt The Invention of Hugo Cabret, his first and only choice to portray Georges Méliès was Sir Ben Kingsley.
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The first movie by Martin Scorsese fully shot in digital.
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The poem Isabelle recites in the train station to Inspector Gustav is "A Birthday" by Christina Georgina Rossetti.
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There are several references to James Joyce in the movie. In the beginning, he is standing in the café. Also, the frozen people outside of the apartment building are a direct reference to Joyce's short story "The Dead", which has the central character imagining frozen people in the snow all over Ireland.
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A lecture hall from the famous Parisian university La Sorbonne was dressed and used for the cinema hall towards the end of this movie.
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The original cut of Georges Méliès' footage was ten minutes long. Martin Scorsese decided to cut it to a shorter length because he felt he would not be able to get away with the footage being so long.
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While much of the magic performed is period appropriate, there are a few pieces in this movie which are modern adaptations of classic pieces. The rising card is one of these pieces. It was created and performed on stage by Howard Thurston in the early 1900s. The technology to perform it close-up, with the aid of invisible thread, was not available until the 1960s, and was popularized by magician Fred Kaps.
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While most of the movie was shot in the studio in London, two weeks of location shooting were done in Paris.
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While shooting in Paris, the crew's base of operations was the prestigious high school Lycée Louis-le-Grand, whose cafeteria had to provide seven hundred meals daily to accommodate the cast and crew.
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When Hugo is seen for the last time, he has just done a card trick and is showing off the three of clubs, which is always "your card" in card tricks by Penn and Teller.
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This Martin Scorsese movie won the same number of Academy Awards as Scorsese's The Aviator (2004), totalling five. Both were nominated for Best Picture and Best Director Oscars, but lost out. This movie also won the same number of Oscars in the same year as The Artist (2011). Both movies examined silent cinema.
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This movie was one of several movies that were in competition at the 2012 Academy Awards that were related to France and French culture in some way. The others being The Artist (2011), War Horse (2011), Midnight in Paris (2011), The Adventures of Tintin (2011), Puss in Boots (2011) from the French fairy-tale by Charles Perrault, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) based on the novel by Pierre Boulle and A Cat in Paris (2010). Interestingly though, there was no French film nominated for the Best Foreign Film Academy Award (Oscar) in 2012.
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Martin Scorsese screened 3-D prints of House of Wax (1953) and Dial M for Murder (1954) for the cast and crew as part of the preparation for filming this movie in 3-D.
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Martin Scorsese's first movie to be shot in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio since Goodfellas (1990).
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This movie was released four years after its source novel "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick was published.
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If you don't include the credits, this movie is exactly two hours long.
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When Brian Selznick heard that Martin Scorsese wanted to adapt his book, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", into a movie, Brian Selznick said, of course it has to be directed by Martin Scorsese.
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The first 3-D movie directed by Martin Scorsese.
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A Nintendo DS game "Hugo Cabret" was planned, but never made. It would have been the first video game tie-in for a Martin Scorsese movie.
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When Hugo shows Isabel the clock passageways, she says "I feel just like Jean Valjean!" Jean Valjean is the protagonist in the Victor Hugo novel "Les Míserables". Sacha Baron Cohen, who played the policeman in this movie, played the con man Thernardier who bothers Jean Valjean in Les Misérables (2012).
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Martin Scorsese said that when he read the book, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", he felt an immediate connection to the story.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Very much of Sasha Baron Cohen acting is based on Peter Sellers Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther film franchise.
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Sacha Baron Cohen said the reason he agreed to appear in this movie was because he wanted to work with Martin Scorsese.
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This movie was one of a group of movies that were in competition at the 2012 Academy Awards that referenced movie history. This movie and The Artist (2011), which won five Academy Awards, examined silent cinema; The Help (2011) referenced Gone with the Wind (1939), its Best Actress in a Supporting Role winner Octavia Spencer evoking Hattie McDaniel from that classic; while My Week with Marilyn (2011) with two nominations was about the making of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).
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The original costumes of Hugo and Isabelle are being held at Seven Stories in Byker, England.
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This movie takes place in 1931.
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Martin Scorsese sent Screenwriter John Logan the book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick. When John Logan began reading the book, he completely understood why Martin Scorsese was interested in adapting it.
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Hugo Cabret was born in 1919.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Visual Effects.
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Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths, and Helen McCrory appeared in the Harry Potter film franchise.
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Emily Mortimer and Sir Ben Kingsley worked together on Transsiberian (2008).
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Cameo 

Brian Selznick: The author of the book can be seen at the end of the movie at Méliès' apartment. He is the one wearing glasses following behind Méliès and the film professor.
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Michael Pitt: The star of Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire (2010) has an uncredited appearance as the projectionist.
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Director Cameo 

Martin Scorsese: The photographer who is taking a picture of young Georges Méliès outside his new studio and a minute later can be heard in Melies' studio saying "good, that's good, yes".
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The train station depicted is the Gare Montparnasse. The real-life Georges Méliès worked as a toymaker at that station after World War I. The derailment scene during Hugo's dream is a reference to the infamous 1895 derailment at the station.
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Jude Law (Hugo's father) only appears on-screen for three minutes.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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